I want to make clear that the main intention of this post is to talk about what I do in my life, because I believe that it is good for me. It’s not an advice that other people should follow. Although, I hope that it will inspire some readers to think, perhaps do some research and learn more about what I consider to be the most important aspect of my everyday existence – my healthy nutrition! After all, we all eat every day of our lives, two perhaps three meals a day.
I am also very conscious that there are two, perhaps three billion people on our planet that struggle to secure sufficient daily food. I know that posts like this one are totally meaningless for them. Whatever food they can secure is good, for as long as it keeps them alive.
I would also like to underline that I’ve invested a lot of time and effort to educate myself. I’ve read read numerous books and internet articles on nutrition. Once I had acquired some knowledge, I did the best possible thing that I could do – I put my knowledge into practice. It was at the same time harmless and the most effective way to test the theory.
MY NUTRITIONAL IDEOLOGY
A brief summary of my diet can be described as follows: I avoid to eat any food that, after it has been eaten, it’s rapidly digested and converted into blood sugar that becomes elevated to dangerous diabetic levels. This process induces pancreas to produce insulin. The role of insulin is to regulate the blood sugar level, by converting it into fat. That fat is deposited around the abdomen and internal organs and over a longer period of time, it results in ever increasing weight and various inflammations.
This is a very basic description of metabolic processes that happen when we eat. But, there are foods that are particularly responsible for such unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels.
GLYCEMIC INDEX AND GLYCEMIC LOAD
Certainly, the science behind this theory is much more complicated. It takes a bit more to properly understand why the food that we eat is directly responsible for how healthy or unhealthy we are.
Without getting too technical, there are two parameters that I follow to determine what I eat. They are called Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL). The standard for this is glucose (blood sugar), which has a value of 100.
Glycemic Index shows how quickly each food affects the blood sugar (glucose) level when that particular food is eaten on its own. The lower the GI of any given food, the better!
Glycemic Load accounts for how much carbohydrate there is in the food and how much each gram of carbohydrate in that particular food increases blood sugar levels. Glycemic load is based on glycemic index. To calculate GL, you multiple grams of available carbohydrate in the food by that food’s GI and then divide by 100. The same as for GI, the lower GL of any given food, the better!
THINGS THAT I DON’T EAT
This actually means that carbohydrates are primarily responsible for spikes in blood sugar levels. When I first learnt all this, I was very surprised that some foods that featured regularly in my diet had the highest results for both GI and GL. For example, two slices of brown bread cause a much bigger blood sugar spike than an equivalent quantity of a chocolate bar. Both, white and brown bread have the GI result of around 75. We can hardly imagine eating a bar of chocolate for breakfast every day, yet eating two slices of bread has exactly the same result, if not worse.
So, I almost never eat bread and other wheat product such as pasta, cereals and biscuits. Additionally, I almost never eat potatoes as they are pure starch. I eat rice three or perhaps four times a month and I don’t eat cakes and sugar in any form.
I say almost never, because it is very hard for me to control my diet when I travel, but that’s a different story for another time.
FOOD THAT I EAT
I eat meat, mainly fish, chicken and turkey. I’ve completely stopped eating pork and beef. Furthermore, I eat eggs, cheese, various types of nuts. Most importantly, I eat a lot of vegetables and I eat fruit in limited quantities because it contains fructose, which is basically another form of sugar.
I cook all my meals from scratch and I never buy ready meals. I mentioned in my previous post that I never eat junk food or factory produced meals that are sold in supermarkets in the UK in vast quantities. For me, that’s not food, they are edible products that resemble food, full of preservatives, additives, flavour enhancers, stabilisers and other toxic substances. This also means that I never eat highly and ultra processed food. As a matter of fact, I never buy any product that has more than five ingredients listed on the label.
I have a coffee in the morning and I drink water for the rest of the day. Occasionally, I have a glass of red wine, although I am aware that alcohol also rapidly metabolises into blood sugar and that it’s not good for me.
With my diet, I eat as much as I want and I am never hungry. I remember in the past, I would have a bowl of “healthy” cereals in the morning. But, two hours later I would be starving again or rather craving for more sugar.
I never have cravings now, although I do get hungry after a reasonable period of time. I sleep better and I never feel bloated. Also, I used to periodically get red blemishes on my face, for which my doctor prescribed a corticosteroid cream. My face and my skin are perfectly clean now.
My weight is stable despite the fact that I eat a lot. Considering how much I eat, I should be putting on weight but that’s not the case. Furthermore, I hope to prevent getting any of the modern day “life style” diseases. Hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes and other inflammations are most probably directly correlated with unhealthy diets that are primarily based on carbohydrates.
EATING FOR HEALTHY LIFE
I’ve been following this nutritional regime for approximately 5 years and so far, so good. I cannot complain of anything. Rather, it’s when I deviate from my usual diet that I start to suffer and I notice things that don’t feel right. The most obvious one is bloating, it appears as soon as I’ve eaten any product made from wheat.
To finish, I need to repeat that this post is exclusively about me and what I do in my life. It is not an advice or a suggestion for other people to follow. I am not a qualified nutritionist, but I am perfectly qualified to decide about my life and my diet.
We live in a technologically advanced era. The information is available to us like never before. Everyone can do a research, learn and take informed decisions, the same as I did.
The bottom line is that we all have to decide what’s best for us. At the time when I learnt all this, I wanted to test the theory. Surely, personal experience is the best evidence that we can have. In my case, there was no harm in eliminating certain items from my diet and slightly adjusting my eating habits. Especially, if the end result is being healthy and having a strong immune system!